I'm a college senior who is graduating in a couple weeks so for the past few months I've been job searching like crazy trying to get a job lined up for after graduation. I currently have a "job offer" with a relatively small company; I'm working part-time for them for training purposes and will get fully hired a month after graduation. (I should note that I really only went with them as a "back up" of sorts) However, I have an interview next week with another, much larger company that I have been wanting to work for since my freshman year and I feel that it is very likely that I will get an offer from them (fingers crossed).

I'm having very conflicted feelings about my situation because if I do get an offer with the second company, I will most likely go with them over the small company. However, I've been talking with the smaller company for almost 3 months now and they have done a lot/are planning to do a lot for me i.e. gave me a laptop, work bag, company shirt, an office, planning to fly me over to Canada for training, planning a company boat cruise to meet the other employees, etc. So if I do end up not working for them, I'm going to have to awkwardly give all this stuff back.

I guess I'm just afraid that I will be unethical/seem two-faced to them because prior to my first interview with the second company, I've been saying to them how "excited" I am to work for them and I want to stick with one company, but if I go with the other company then it'll seem like I didn't want to work with them when in reality the other company is my "dream" company and offers better benefits.

I haven't let the small company know that I'm interviewing with the second company, and if I continue this, get a offer, and then let the small company know I don't want to work for them, I'm afraid the news will come off like a slap to the face. I'm meeting them next week (on the same day as my interview no less) so I'm wondering if I should at least let them know if I'm interviewing with another company? Or is that none of their business? What is the best thing I should do in this situation?

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    "gave me a laptop, work bag, company shirt, an office, planning to fly me over to Canada for training, planning a company boat cruise to meet the other employees, etc." - why would you want to leave such an awesome company who does all this for a part-time trainee/student?
    – HorusKol
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 3:29
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    You're not obligated to tell them anything -- it may not be the best thing to do, and they will likely be upset, but put yourself in their shoes -- would they hesitate to replace you if a similar candidate wanted YOUR job for a cheaper salary? No, they'd tell you it's just business. So you should go to your interview and if you receive/accept an offer, you should cancel the offer you've currently accepted because it's just business, nothing personal. Theres probably a section in your contract that states that both parties (you and your employer) can renege on the contract at any time. Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 3:55
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    I think it is worth noting that the laptop, work bag and company shirt should should not have too much weight placed on them. In the business world getting a laptop is basic practice and the work merchandise will just come from the mass ordered supplies they have of work merchandise. Now I am not saying they are not nice things (the boat cruise sounds cool) but I don’t think a lot of attention should be focused on those things which are pretty run of the mill for companies. Instead focus on the people and culture - those are things that not every company will have and are much more valuable.
    – sam_smith
    Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 8:12

4 Answers 4


The best thing to do in this situation is to cancel your interview with the second company. You have already accepted an offer. The first company has already invested time and money in onboarding you - training you while paying you as a part time employee, buying and shipping your equipment, spending time to arrange travel and events.

Going forward, if you have other interviews lined up, you should let other companies know this and work on aligning timelines before you give any indication of accepting an offer. You shouldn't, implicitly or explicitly, give the idea that you are accepting an offer if you aren't committed to actually formally accepting. Once you accept an offer, you should inform the other companies that you are in active contact with that you are removing yourself from consideration, thank them for their time, and (if it's the case) let them know that you'll keep them in mind as your career develops.

If you do decide to go forward and end up joining the second company, you'll likely have burned your bridges with the first company. I would be very likely to remember if I interacted with someone who was so unprofessional, and would likely pass them over for future positions. Not only will you affect your chances at this company, but the employees that you've interacted with will likely remember this for a while and bring that with them to other companies in the mid-term future.


This is business, not personal. The company you're currently working ("company 1") with is not a human, so you can't give it a "slap to the face", and they would not hesitate to drop you if a better candidate for the role materialized from somewhere.

So what you need to do is simple: Proceed with company 1 as if you were going to join them. Depending on the timelines, try to drag out signing the offer until you hear back from company 2, but if you need to accept the offer, that's OK.

If you get the company 2 offer, accept it and tell company 1 you're sorry, but you found a better opportunity -- they may not like it, but they'll understand, because it's just business. It's unlikely they would hire you again, but they're not going to go around badmouthing you, because there's nothing to badmouth you about: "that dastardly OP had the effrontery to accept a better job instead!".

And if you don't get the company 2 offer, then sign the company 1 offer, and they'll be none the wiser.


Let them know what's going on and that you're looking for options and you want the best one suited for you just like any other person getting job interviews should do.


Let them know things changed and say the recruiter contacted you via LinkedIn ;-) You just were there for the interview and got a better offer. Or a friend called you

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